Depending on how you define the word, the Etna could have become the first British mid-engined ‘supercar’. A one-off concept designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and was powered by a 4.0-litre V8.
In a bold step to demonstrate its commitment to becoming a major automotive engineering consultancy, Lotus invested £500,000 and opened two of the most sophisticated computer-controlled engine test cells in Europe. The Hethel factory reached another milestone – 30,000 cars had been produced at the Norfolk factory since 1966.
The V8-powered Etna concept car, designed by Giugiaro, was shown at the British International Motor Show in Birmingham. The engine was Lotus’ own design, a 4.0-litre V8 developing 320bhp. Projected performance for the Etna was 0-60 mph in 4.3secs, with a top speed of 180mph.